The Third Leader: Licence for limos

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The Independent Online

Ah, yes, another day, another pressing issue on which you will be seeking urgent guidance from down here. There are, I see, worries and a proposed parliamentary amendment to do with, indeed, the stretch limousine.

Well, I'm not too well up on this. I know there are a lot of them about, to the extent that one's own entertainment expeditions of an evening in the family saloon seem a little mean and lacking in swagger, tucked in as they are between them or avoiding being crushed on one of those tight turns they otherwise negotiate with aplomb.

I recognise, too, that it's a social achievement of some note to have enough friends to fill one. I have also occasionally idly wondered about the logic of a vehicle for showing off which you can't be seen in, but I had no idea that their present unregulated condition was such a threat.

You, no doubt, will mutter sagely about health and safety considerations; I could turn to the page in the leader-writing handbook governing the use of the butterfly and the wheel; but I think the real concern is deeper, almost sub-conscious: it's a concealment thing.

Anything could be going on in there, behind the dark windows. Binge drinking, unhealthy eating, hunting, canvassing on behalf of David Cameron, smoking, a meeting of the Sir Christopher Meyer Fan Club, aliens, anthropologists, Gordon Brown, all taking notes. And you must have noticed that the girls who come tumbling out when one stops all look the same?

Nor can we entirely discount someone sending empty limousines round out of spite. This one will run and run, clearly, until we've achieved complete transparency.